Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tie me down, hold me down, come on

Continuing on with the theme established by the last post of supposedly pretty boy popstars who no one besides me cares about, today I bring you another song from former South African Idols contestant Jacques (who seriously needs to get some new promo photos, preferably some that show some awareness of capturing a good face and not just showcasing an exposed chest). After going down the jazz route (well, he released a second album after that, but I've got no idea what it sounded like*; edit: and a third, ditto), Jacques has apparently decided he's hungry for some commercial success. His latest album, The Colour Red, is being referred to as R&B album, but it seems to me that there's a pretty health of dose of electro and electronica (of the poppy sort) on The Colour Red. "Turn Back Time," "Love's Like A Breeze," and "A Kinda Weight" are all examples of the latter, but the song I'm posting today is the former.

Set Me Free--I still can't get over the fact that Mark Beling wrote this--both because 1.) he's Mark Beling, and 2.) a South African writer did this--it just doesn't sound anything like the sort of music we usually get from there. Plus, it really sounds like it would be part of the recycled song circuit, something borrowed from Europe. I wouldn't say this is a "Jacques must release this now so he can have an international hit" type of song, but for a random album track that most people outside of (and probably inside of) South Africa will never hear, it's pretty great, and it could quite easily be picked up as an album track for an artist from another country. Sounding something like what you'd get if you mashed up Phixx and Jamelia's "Beware Of The Dog" but not as fantastic as that might make you expect, "Set Me Free" is an electro-rock pop stomper that would probably need to have the electro and stomp settings notched up before it would qualify as "amazing," but it's still great and catchy, and it does have some fantastic moments in it (the drum part, the opening, and middle 8 being particular highlights--I love how different the middle 8, the "why would you be alone" section, is from the rest of the song; it's like this brief eye of the storm moment, a temporary break from the darkness). Despite all my caveats here, "Set Me Free" is a pretty exciting song, international in sound, cluing me in to a direction I'll be interested to see if Jacques or Mark pursues further as well as being a very enjoyable listen on its own merits.

To buy Jacques's album The Colour Red, go here (physical) or here (digital).

Next up: maybe something Swedish.

*This quotation about said album cracks me up every time: "The album is called Revealed. I named it Revealed ‘cause I’m revealing my happiness and no-care attitude in the album. As I said, it’s more commercial and I am revealing that side of myself. There’s also a pic on the front cover without my shirt." Deep, Jacques. And shocking.

4 comments:

Kevin said...

PG, I'm surprised you didn't mention the most obvious song. Jacques' song sounds EXACTLY like Darin's "Insanity", down to the "Oh Oh Oh...". Hmmm... if Darin's people get a hold of this song...

Poster Girl said...

I'm the first to point out people stealing from Darin's songs (see also: US5), but I don't think so at all here...I think Darin's fantastic and he makes albums much better than what Jacques has done so far, but I don't think this sounds like a rip-off at all--it's similar to the extent that any male sung mid-tempo pop song with electro-rock influences is similar, but I don't really hear it beyond that. I will admit that it's easier for me to detect these things when one of the songs isn't in English, but, for example, you point to Jacques's "oh"s--they aren't anything like those of "Insanity"--if anything, they're more like the "oh"s of "Desire." The ones in "Insanity" aren't punchy, they're more like a ghostly backing chorus, like those in BWO's "Haunted." The drum part is completely different as well--Darin's is rhythmic, repetitive, while Jacques's is based more on periodic drum rolls. In general, the vibe of Darin's is way more laid-back--it's a creepy, I've got my eye on you sort of laid back, but it's still a little bit of a leisurely devilness, whereas Jacques's...isn't. There's a little more of a feeling of forward movement to it. Take the electro-rock pulses (more like bursts) in the chorus of Jacques song vs. the occasional short high-pitched synth-wash type pulses in the chorus of Darin's--the underlying parts of the song aren't the same. Similar aura to the songs, maybe, but that's as far as I'd go.

Paul said...

oh i am all about pretty pop star boys and their increasingly addictive music (especially ones who sing, ahem, "tie me down hold me down!" Raunchy!) I managed to download a few Jacques song to listen to on the way to work so i shall return later with a more informed opinion than this one.

Poster Girl said...

These lyrics are seriously PURE Phixx--I mean, I can imagine them singing them so easily.